For the second time in four days, a U.S. surveillance aircraft flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea was intercepted by a Russian fighter jet, the Navy said Sunday. A U.S. Navy P-8A aircraft was intercepted twice by a Russian SU-35, and the second incident was deemed “unsafe and unprofessional,” the Navy said in statement.
The Navy tweeted video of the incident, stating: “The Russian aircraft got within 25 feet of the P-8, putting both crews in harm’s way. We expect nothing less than professional & safe interactions!”
“The SU-35 conducting a high-speed, high-powered maneuver … decreased aircraft separation to within 25 feet, directly in front of the P-8A, exposing the U.S. aircraft to wake turbulence and jet exhaust,” the 6th Fleet said in a statement.
The American plane was forced to descend to create separation from the Russian aircraft, the Navy said.
The incident comes just four days after a Russian fighter jet buzzed a U.S. surveillance plane over the Mediterranean. On Wednesday, the Navy said a Russian jet made a similar “unsafe” high-speed maneuver when it came within 25 feet of a U.S. P-8 plane.